Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has ratified the country’s earlier agreement to lend Sri Lanka ¥45bn ($375m) to considerably expand and improve Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport with the creation of a state-of-the-art new terminal.
In an official statement from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office earlier this week, both leaders reaffirmed that the project is going ahead with the two countries continuing to cooperate on ‘sustainable economic growth’ in Sri Lanka, under the ‘Partnership for Quality Infrastructure’ initiative.
This ratification follows Shinzo Abe’s meeting with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Tokyo last week where both parties confirmed the airport agreement as an integral part of discussions covering several issues, including an overall expansion of the bilateral relationship between the two countries, including security, politics and economics.
The new loan will fund a new passenger terminal which will be integrated with the existing Terminal 1 and consist of eight gates – plus remote facilities – incorporating ‘simple wayfinding’, comprehensive duty free arrivals and departure shopping and a passenger handling capacity of 15m a year.
According to the Airport & Aviation Services (Sri Lanka), the present capacity stands at 6m passenger movements per annum. The new two-tier passenger terminal with separate arrivals and departures passenger flows will be opened in two stages, with the first scheduled to open in early 2017.